JEFFERSONVILLE (Dec. 19, 2018) – The Board of Directors of the River Ridge Development Authority (RRDA) voted this week to convey nearly 180 acres of land to the Town of Utica and City of Jeffersonville for local projects that will complement development and growth at River Ridge Commerce Center.
During its Dec. 17 board meeting, the RRDA approved plans to donate 100 acres to Utica. During the meeting, Utica Town Board President Steve Long and other representatives presented conceptual plans for developments on the property.
The conceptual plan, prepared by Jeffersonville-based TEG Architects, included a proposed public-safety center and emergency temporary housing facility to benefit the public health and welfare. The RRDA staff was directed to coordinate with TEG to develop a more detailed plan for the site that is consistent with developments at River Ridge Commerce Center, including the Gateway Office Park.
The board also approved moving forward with the planned donation of 79 acres of land – a gift valued at about $1.4 million – to the City of Jeffersonville for a planned community park. The City of Jeffersonville has developed detailed plans for a new Chapel Lake Park and will invest several million dollars to develop it.
The park will be an added amenity that can help River Ridge attract businesses and provide the center’s 9,000-plus employees with recreational space. River Ridge is being developed with walkable paths and parklike campuses to meet the current expectations of employers. Many employers believe that it’s helpful to recruit talented worker when you have a nearby park where employees can eat lunch outside, or walk, bike or hike before or after work.
“We’re pleased to be able to contribute to the region’s public safety facilities and recreational opportunities,” said J. Mark Robinson, President of the RDDA Board of Directors. “This is land that is better suited for recreational use than commercial or industrial use – and a developed park will be appealing to employers. It’s advantageous to both River Ridge and to everyone who lives nearby.”
“Our first priority is to continue to develop River Ridge into an economic magnet that we expect to soon employ more than 10,000 people and generate more than $2 billion in annual economic impact to the region. But we also are always look for opportunities to support surrounding communities,” said Jerry Acy, RRDA Executive Director.
Under federal and state law, River Ridge’s mission is to redevelop thousands of acres of former military land into a commerce center that creates jobs, local tax revenue and regional growth in Southern Indiana. The RRDA’s primary sources of revenue are land sales and property taxes within the commerce center.
With these donations, River Ridge will have donated more than 360 acres of commerce center land to local governments for uses including fire stations, a wastewater treatment facility, an emergency response center (E911), a police training facility, and maintenance and storage facilities.
A 2017 economic impact study found that businesses at River Ridge pumped more than $36 million in local income taxes to local government coffers since 2006. Local governments received more than $5.3 million in local income taxes last year and will get an estimated $5.8 million in 2018.
In addition, River Ridge businesses generated more than $27 million in state income and sales taxes last year and will likely top $30 million in 2018.